Smoked Salmon and Avocado Tartine on Rye

What better way to embrace the crisp weather of autumn than to celebrate the grain that thrives in a cold and wet climate? Rye. This is part of a year-long series celebrating whole grains, with rye  officially dubbed “Miss November.”

A Hearty Whole Grain

This hearty grain hails from Eastern Europe, where it remains a staple even today. Originally, it was thought to be a weed because of its rapid growth. Farmers have since come to appreciate its prolific nature. Historically, rye was primarily eaten by peasants, enjoyed as a hearty bread. Unbeknownst to the nobility, the lower classes were benefiting from the abundant nutrients in rye.

Best Rye Bread

Rye bread’s distinct flavor is just one of its enticing factors. It also offers fiber for healthy digestion, iron for a strong immune system, and a  multitude of antioxidants, which aid in preventing cell damage. It is also an immensely satiating grain.

Authentic Rye Bread

The recent interest in everything whole grain often translates to products in the marketplace labeled “100% natural.” But this is sometimes little more than savvy marketing. Look past the label when buying rye bread. Take a peek at the ingredients list to see if the first one is whole grain.rather than “enriched wheat flour”  with caramel coloring. Typically, rye bread is a lot denser than wheat, especially German and European-style breads. These are some heavy loaves, which can make for heavy lifting when you’re out grocery shopping.

A Nutrient-Dense Grain

Like many other grains, Rye can be purchased and used in a variety of forms, such as berries, flakes, cracked, and flour. If you’re opting for a meal with texture, then give rye berries a go. They maintain their nutritional value because they haven’t been stripped of the germ and bran.

Smoked salmon and avocado tartine

Topped with Salmon and Avocado

Today’s recipe relies on hearty, dense rye bread. Like many European-style sandwiches, it’s served open-faced, with the ingredients layered on a single slice of toasted rye. The smoky fish stands up to the deep, nutty flavor of the rye, offset by the avocado and crisp cucumber. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, or snack.

If  you want to do some additional experimenting with rye, check out this Raisin Rosemary Rye Bread which relies on rye flour, or this Rye Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette.

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Tartine on Rye

This open-faced sandwich is reminiscent of what you might find in a cafe in Northern Europe. It's a snap to pull together and works for a breakfast, light lunch, or afternoon snack. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 tartine
Calories 273 kcal
Author Katie Morford


  • 1 slice dense German-syle rye bread that's about 3 1/2 inches by 4 inches
  • 1/3 medium ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 lemon or lime wedge
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 to 5 thin slices English cucumber
  • 2 thin slices smoked salmon
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Toast the bread until crisp. Dense rye bread is moist, so will take longer than standard wheat bread.
  2. When the toast is done, use the back of a fork to gently mash the avocado on top. Scatter the capers on the avocado, add a generous squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt. Lay the cucumber slices on top followed by the smoked salmon.

Thank you to my intern Courtney Woo for this guest post



11.07.2014 at7:54 AM #

Liz - Meal Makeover Mom

I’m loving your Miss November recipe creation. Great post Courtney. I grew up in the suburbs of NYC, so rye bread was everywhere … especially at the local delis where we often ate lunch. My favorite was always turkey and coleslaw with Russian on rye. Ah, those were the days. I’m ready for an update so your smoked salmon and avocado combo is definitely on my must-try list!

11.07.2014 at7:54 AM #

Katie Morford

There’s nothing like a good NYC deli! Thanks for the comment, Liz.

11.07.2014 at11:48 AM #

Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

I used to love rye bread before I found out I had Celiac!

11.07.2014 at11:48 AM #

Katie Morford

There are so many great gluten-free foods available these days, but rye is such a distinct flavor. It’s a hard one to copy.

11.07.2014 at5:20 PM #


I love rye, I add it in varying amounts to everything. It adds flavor to pizza dough…I’ll switch out half for rye because it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t rise. I also, will make the Mark Bittman overnight waffles with 2/3 white whole wheat and 1/3 rye with an added cup of pumpkin puree and they turn out really well. The rye makes it taste a little tangy.

11.07.2014 at5:20 PM #

Katie Morford

All great ideas, Spring. And good point about the pizza dough. And I’ll try it in my next batch of pancakes.

11.08.2014 at1:48 PM #


My gosh, this looks so amazing, I’m actually at a loss of words. Smoked salmon is probably one of my favorite foods in the world. *-*

10.03.2016 at10:18 AM #


Oh my goodness – this is delicious! I made it for the first time this morning for my kids (7 and 9) and I and it was fantastic! I love the combination of the avocado, cucumber, lime and salmon. We all ate it up!

10.03.2016 at10:18 AM #

Katie Morford

One of my weekday favorites!

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